My fancy vintage party!

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To celebrate my birthday I had a fancy party where everyone was instructed to dress up in clothes inspired by the 20th century. I thought that left plenty of leeway (my friends are not vintage enthusiasts) and most people did really well!

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I wore my great-grandmother’s top from the 50’s, a vintage black skirt, vintage clip-on chandelier earrings, and swing dance shoes.

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Here’s one of my friends sipping tea from a teacup and saucer out of my mom’s china set.

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Some of my guests! We had a greaser, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dorothy, and some good old-fashioned retro glamour.

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My new favorite picture of my old roommate and me – I think we look late 1800’s in composition and facial expression.

All in all, it was a really fun party. We had tea and coffee so the non-drinkers would have things to drink, and several types of wine for the drinkers. I made celery sticks with peanut butter in them, which surprisingly went like hot cakes. We used my mom’s wedding china, vintage wine glasses, and my great-grandmother’s 1920s silver (I had a lot of careful cleaning to do after the party was over). One beautiful vintage glass of my grandmother’s did get broken, which was really upsetting. But I’ve decided to use my nice things and the only way to keep them all unbroken is to put them in a cabinet and not touch them. And then what’s the point?

It’s My Birthday!

It’s my birthday! For fun I found some pictures of me/my birthdays throughout the years!

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Me at 3, a few days before my birthday.

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Me at 12

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Me at 16 with our beloved dog, Dog. I miss her. Only dog I’ve ever loved.

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My 17th birthday!

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My 18th birthday! We went bowling.

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My 19th birthday.

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21st birthday. No idea what happened to my 20th.

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Also my 21st.

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22nd skee ball birthday!

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From today! My 25th birthday. Me and vegan pizza and a 60’s sweater.

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The card my 4-year-old brother picked out for me. It says you could look everywhere and not find a kid as good as me!

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Sorry for the terrible pictures but I wanted to show you the cape I got for my birthday. It’s awesome.

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It’s not so bad turning a quarter-century old – eventually I hope to be a century old so it’s interesting to know that the first quarter is complete, that story is told. When I was born we had VHS tapes and the Cold War and now it’s all iPhones and Obama. I can’t wait to see what the next 75 years bring.

Outfit Post: Silky Fifties

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I got a new dress for Christmas from my mom and stepdad and I got to wear it on a warm LA day. God almighty I love this dress. And still loving my new ear piercings. Good thing I guess, seeing as I spent a faaaair amount of money on them. Oh yeah and they’re holes pierced through my skin.

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50s silk dress – Cactus Flower vintage store in Bloomington, Indiana

60s Blue Orlon acrylic sweater – Etsy

Jade earrings – bought in China

Lipstick – L’Oreal Target Red

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Also don’t hate me but I didn’t pin curl my hair… but it looks like I did. Isn’t that crazy? I have curly hair and I’ve been experimenting with just treating it like a pin curl set – including an extreme amount of hair brushing – and it’s been working. ME MAYBE GENIUS?

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My absolute favorite thing about this dress is that I wore it to go get my medical marijuana card (for migraines). TAKE THAT, STEREOTYPES. I’m not even really a marijuana person that much but I appreciate that in LA we have the freedom to legally partake (within limits) and I think everyone should get their card and thus reduce the stigma. LA has been good enough to extend this freedom and I need to take them up on it. FREE BIRD 2013

ALL CAPS 4 LYFE

Outfit Post: Yo, Ain’t You Supposed to Sleep in That?

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I got some new underwear-type items that I had to try wearing out. How did I do?

Sweater – my great-grandmother’s from the fifties

60’s Bed Jacket – Hidden Closet vintage store in Bloomington, Indiana

60’s slip – Hidden Closet

50’s wool skirt – Jet Rag in LA (you’ve seen this one a million times)

Red high-top Converse – new Christmas present!

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By the way I took this pictures at about 1 in the morning because I forgot to take them prior to going out… so PARDON ME.

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That’s the top of the slip (tucked into the skirt) and the bed jacket. Pretty cute, eh? Eh?

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I should have cropped this picture. Oh well too late and I’m lazy.

Can you believe me wearing a BED jacket out in public? What a harlot.

Outfit Post: Sweater, Barrette, New Book!

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OK so it’s an outfit post where you can’t actually see my outfit. I took some pictures but my sweater was so dark it didn’t photograph very well.

Barrette – bought in Hong Kong

Clip-on earrings and rings – passed down from my grandmother

Olive acrylic sweater – my mom’s

Gray 50’s pencil skirt (part of a suit) – Etsy

And my NEW BOOK! I am a bit of a Titanic enthusiast. I am a lot of a Titanic enthusiast. The conceit of this book is that it’s an owner’s manual – like you would have for your car – so I can learn more about the inner workings of Titanic, her engineering and operation. Truly a Loser’s Delight.

By the way, I already had Christmas with my mom, brother, and step-dad while I was visiting them in Indiana so I have some new and super-cool shit to show you guys in the next week. I’ll give you a hint – one of them is now the oldest piece of vintage clothing I own, by far. ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

Casual Vintage for a Cold Indiana Day

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I went and visited family in Indiana and felt COLD weather for the first time in a while! Luckily this casual 40s/50s winter outfit kept me pretty warm. I like this outfit because it feels like just the sort of thing a girl in the 40s or 50s would have worn when hanging out with her family in the cold months – it’s casual, conservative, not too fashion-forward but cute, warm, and comfortable.

Sweater – modern, my mom’s

Skirt – 50s, Jet Rag

Stockings and wool socks!

Boots – Target

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I love these boots. They have lace on the sides (which I really should have taken a picture of) and give me an early 1900s feel.

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Here’s my cousin and me! Don’t worry, I asked her if I could put her picture up. ๐Ÿ™‚

It sounds crazy, but I wore skirts and dresses the whole time I was in 20-40 degree weather and I stayed warm. Between slips, thick skirts, stockings/hose/tights and socks, you can wear more layers than you could if you just wore pants! I’ll post some more cold-weather outfits in the next few days!

I Went Swing Dancing!

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I put on my red dress and went swing dancing last night! I went to an event in Pasadena where they have a 30-minute lesson at the beginning and then a live band for the rest of the evening. My friend went with me and we had plenty of lady-on-lady swing dancing, as it was mostly couples. We were also definitely the youngest people there.

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I put my hair in two braids, pinned them up, and wore a leopard print scarf to keep my hair in place.

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I think this angle in my kitchen probably has the best lighting in my apartment. And that’s not saying much, seeing as it’s all dark and orange. My inability to take good outfit photos has been driving me CRAZY! I don’t have anyone else to take pictures of me and the lighting in my apartment is atrocious. Here are a couple great outfits I’ve worn lately and not devoted a post to because of the terrible photos –

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I still haven’t been able to take a good photo of this dress, even though it’s probably my favorite dress I own right now. I’ll try again, I swear.

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I wore this green brocade jacket with the gray skirt from my 50’s suit.

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I’ll figure it out someday.

I’ll leave you with some relatively good pictures I took at the beach this week!

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And what I look like at the beach –

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Long sleeves, a hat, and a ton of sunscreen. Sexy.

 

Why I Can’t Pick an Era

Many (most?) vintage ladies have a specific era that they base their look around – a decade or two that catches their fancy. Sometimes I feel like it makes me less devoted to vintage if I can’t choose a decade – nobody has ever said that to me, but I’m a perfectionist and a weirdo. My two favorite decades are probably the 40s and the 70s, though I own a lot of 50s and 60s clothes that I absolutely love. I also really enjoy the fashions of the 30s, but I don’t own any and a lot of them seem so fragile and expensive these days (and often a bit narrow in the hip for me to physically be able to wear). So I suppose I love the 40s-70s the best. The 80s were generally horrifying (though Hot Tub Time Machine makes them look fun) and the 90s were a cesspool for fashion. So I’ll stick with my favorite 40 year span. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s why I can’t choose.

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This early forties dress is to me the perfect dress. I love it so much and if I knew how to sew I would hunt down that pattern and sew it. Someday! (? I hope?)

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Ali MacGraw’s coat in the 1970 movie Love Story. (photo credit)

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Anne Holbrook in 1974. I feel like I see a throughline in what I like – can’t you see similar styles in the 40s and the 60s? (photo credit)

The 70s jumpsuit is one of the most fun, sexiest, and bravest of all fashions. The 40s utilitarian vibe is my favorite. Gloves. Hats. Peter pan collars.

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I can’t live without these 70s jeans.

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Or this 60s sweater.

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Or this fifties suit.

I can’t choose.

Hollywood Costume Warehouses: A Vintage Girl’s Playground!

Yesterday I visited a couple costume warehouses to get wardrobe for my showย Today Is Historyย – our pilot is shooting in a couple weeks and we needed to get lots of 1880’s clothes and some Ancient Egyptian costumes. Costume warehouses are where a lot of movies and TV shows get their wardrobe that isn’t custom-made – they have everything, and it’s all categorized down to the decade. 1880s, 1890s, 1900s – and so on. It’s super cool. Nothing is exactly cheap to rent – $50 for a dress, $100-150 for an 1800s suit – but a lot of it is authentic and the staff there have an encyclopedic knowledge of their giant inventory. I won’t mention which ones specifically we went to because I’m not sure that I was supposed to be taking pictures, but I did. But I will say that one of the warehouses has a reserved parking spot out front for Janie Bryant, the costume designer for Mad Men. ๐Ÿ˜€

I wore my gray suit:

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Isn’t it gorgeous? You’ve seen the skirt before but not the whole thing together. I know it’s fifties but I don’t know more than that – the tag says W.J. Richards & Son, Braintree, Essex – unfortunately, it’s not on the Vintage Fashion Guild label guide.

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I did have people ask me why I was so dressed up. I kind of did my hair, too, but you can’t see it.

50s Suit – Etsy

70s Shirt – Jet Rag

Tights – Target (I wouldn’t buy these Merona brand ribbed tights again – I’ve only worn them a few times and they have multiple runs already)

Shoes – Naturalizer

The shoes were a hand-me-down, but I don’t really like them. Here’s why:

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I can’t get on board with that type of sole. It’s on a lot of modern shoes and I hate the way it looks. Why would you want to ruin a pretty shoe with an ugly sole that looks like it’s made out of tires? But I don’t have a lot of shoes right now so I guess I have to wear shoes I don’t like until I find ones I do.

But anyhow, let’s get back to the WAREHOUSES FULL OF VINTAGE CLOTHES!

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Tons of shoes!

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30’s shoes.

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I tried on a bunch of shoes. It’s funny that the farther back you go, the larger of a size you need. I’m a size 8 in modern shoes, an 8 1/2 in 50’s-60’s shoes, and a 9 in anything earlier. But try finding a size 9 in 1930’s shoes – good luck. It’s amazing to me how much larger people have gotten in under a century. We’re taller, our feet are bigger – can we chalk it all up to better medical care? Freakish GMOs? I don’t know.

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These shoes are super cool.

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Lovely Spectators…

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In pretty rough shape.

There were also tubs and tubs of hats. 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, divided by color, mourning hats with veils, bonnets. I tried on several from the “pink 50’s hats” tub.

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Love this one. It’s actually very wearable, don’t you think?

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I had to hold this one on my head in lieu of hat pins. Pretty fucking cool, though.

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You can’t quite see how long the feather was on this, but it was super long.

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In case you can’t tell, I’m in mourning in this picture. I wonder if anyone actually wore this hat while mourning? ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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I thought this huge aisle of Native American costumes was amazing. We have to do a Native American themed episode so we can rent some of these! I want to wear one!

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There’s my director after squeezing around this ladder – the huge ladders take up the whole aisle and you just have to squeeze around them.

 

And one last picture:

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That’s a weird candid photo of me at my friend’s birthday last night – I was doing an improv show afterwards so I changed to pants and added the hat and scarf. Pretty overdressed for the world I live in but that’s okay with me.

Outfit Post: A Riveting New Sheath Dress

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I got a new dress off of Etsy – it’s a black 1950s sheath dress with red flecks in the fabric. It’s supposed to be a wiggle dress, but it’s not quite that tight on me so it’s more of just a comfortable dress. I like it because I think it’s nice enough to dress up, but not so nice that I can’t just wear it around to do errands.

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The color looks gray here, but you can see the fabric and the cute collar.

And it has pockets!

And dramatic makeup to match. God I love me a cat eye. Ever since I learned to do it a month ago I can’t stop.

And when it got chillier, I paired it with my new sixties jacket. I know I’m making a weird face in that picture but it’s the only picture I could get to come out that wasn’t way too dark or way overexposed.

You can finally see my shoes! I bought these Mason shoes off Etsy and I have no idea when they’re from because Mason made shoes for a long time and I can’t find any info on how to date them. But they’re in good condition which makes me guess 80s.

And if you’re curious to see the dress (or me) in action, I wore it last night to do standup!